Weird Plant Wednesday!

Inspired by Linda’s Euphorbia quiz last week – here’s another:

Euphorbia tirucalli ‘Firesticks’ in the Hahn Horticulture Garden at Virginia Tech (right before we dug it up due to impending frost). Am hoping for a "comment of approval" from Hap (Mister Cactus Jungle) on this nice specimen…not bad for Zone 6a!

Same funky little leaflets/antennae… just like Linda’s Euphorbia lactea ‘Cristata’

GP factoid: also known as "milkbush," the latex sap contains terpenoids – it apparently has potential as an energy source or "hydrocarbon plant."

4 thoughts on “Weird Plant Wednesday!”

  1. Holly,

    That is a very nice plant! It looks better than most of ours! But it has been a cool foggy summer here in Berkeley and they have been as cranky as the tomatoes…. We too are moving in the frost sensitive plants in for the winter. Where we use it as a landscape plant we do a pot in pot installation and swap something else for the winter that won’t turn to black slimy mush if it is a cold & wet winter. Have you grown Euphorbia leucodendron? It is sort of a thicker, shorter looking plant, but is hardy outside here in Berkeley.

    And I echo Joseph’s warning on the sap, E. tirucalli has very nasty sap! You do not want it in your eyes or to get in on your lips! Think cayenne pepper, or better yet Bear Repellent pain and a trip to the emergency room if it gets in your eye! We always use safety goggles and nitrile gloves when handling these plants. It also helps to have Aeonium lindleyi on hand, since its sap seems to counteract the latex inflammation… one of the folk treatments that at least in my experience actually works!

  2. They don’t call it ‘Firesticks’ for nothing. I thought about mentioning that particular issue but ran out of time. Thanks for the comments Joseph and Hap! Actually we had an Aeonium arboreum planted next to it – will that work?

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